Also MARC IAN BARASCH, Author
My transition seems mild compared with that of today's guest, TOM SHADYAC. A onetime actor/comedian and the youngest writer to work for Bob Hope, Shadyac achieved huge Hollyood success -- writing, directing, and producing hits like ACE VENTURA, LIAR, LIAR, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, and BRUCE ALMIGHTY, earning four People's Choice awards and a ton of money.
His new documentary, I AM recounts what happened after a cycling accident left him incapacitated for months. Though he recovered, the possibility that he might never be able to work or create again had changed him. He sold his estate, moved to a mobile home community (in Malibu), and set out to make a very different kind of movie.
With a four-person crew, Shadyac documented his journey to find answers to two questions. What's wrong with humans? What can we do to fix it?
Shadyac questions scientists, scholars, activists, poets -- David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson -- and Marc Ian Barasch, who joins the conversation in progress.
MARC IAN BARASCH is a writer, editor, television producer and environmental activist. In his book, The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness, Barasch asks, "What if the great driving force of our evolution were actually "survival of the kindest?"
Are humans basically kind or basically cutthroat? Is compassion our birthright, or a hard won creation of culture? What exactly is compassion - that x-factor that every faith (or its founders, at least) exalts as a supreme virtue?
All proceeds derived from the release of I AM, in all media, will go to THE FOUNDATION FOR I AM, a not-for-profit established by Shadyac to fund various causes and to educate the next generation about the very issues and problems explored in the film.
DALE BELL and HARRY WILAND, producers of the documentary GROWING GREENER SCHOOLS which will air on PBS stations in the month of April.
Across the country -- from elite neighborhoods to inner cities - a green school-based curriculum leads to increased test scores and more proficient learning. Students benefit from from more exposure to natural day lighting, fresh lunches or an eco-friendly school campus. Where the transformation has taken place, the results, are profound, especially in the face of a national consensus that our public schools are failing.
DALE BELL and HARRY WILAND, co-founders of the Media & Policy Center, are veteran film makers who, between them, have won an Academy Award (for Woodstock), five Emmys, one Peabody, two Christophers and two Cine Golden Eagles. They are both Ashoka Fellows, recognized as social entrepreneurs who use media effectively and creatively to inspire citizen action.
DAVID DEGRAW is the day-to-day director of http://mediachannel.org/ whose slogan is "As the media watch the world, we watch the media." Founded by Danny Schechter and Rory O'Conner, MediaChannel deals with the political, cultural and social impacts of the media, large and small. David created http://ampedstatus.com/ to combine cutting-edge technology with human intelligence. He and his team analyze thousands of news items daily to deliver the most hard-hitting and informative.
DAVID DEGRAW started a tech company with friends during the internet boom of the late 90's. They'd raised millions in venture capital when David chose to leave to do more socially conscious work. He did online marketing/business development consulting on projects with Sony, Pearl Jam, AlterNet, etc. After consulting on Danny Schechter's documentary Weapons of Mass Distraction, he moved to Media Channel, where he has been director for five years. In the spring of 2009, he debuted http://ampedstatus.com/
PHILLIPE DIAZ is writer director of a new documentary THE END OF POVERTY that exposes the roots of the south’s poverty first in colonialism and then in the policies of the World Bank, IMF and the WTO.
The film features: Nobel prize winners in economics Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; expert authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson, government ministers such as Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and leaders of social movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania.
THE END OF POVERTY’s opening line by narrator Martin Sheen: “Why, in a world of so much wealth, do we still have so much poverty, where billions of people live on less than one dollar a day?” According to writer-director PHILLIPE DIAZ, the ultimate goal of the film is to change the dialogue around the poverty debate from "poverty is a shame," to "poverty exists for a reason."
Born in Paris France, PHILIPPE DIAZ studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, and began his film career as a director in 1980. He produced a number of features both in France and the US, and in 2003, with a consortium of partners he created Cinema Libre Studio, to provide an alternative structure for intelligent, independent films. His directorial debut, THE EMPIRE IN AFRICA won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at Slamdance 2006.
According to Diaz, “The end of greed on Wall Street will not end poverty in the world. The problem is much deeper than that; it is centuries old. Our economic system since colonial times requires cheap labor and cheap resources from the global South to succeed and to finance our lifestyle in the North. Without changing that we will never alleviate poverty.“
LYME DISEASE and the documentary, UNDER OUR SKIN
ANDY ABRAHAMS WILSON
CEO, California Lyme Disease Association
RICHARD HORWITZ MD
Physician, President, International Lyme and Associated Diseases Education Foundation
Lyme disease patient
Lyme disease is one of the most misunderstood and controversial illnesses of our time. Difficult to test accurately, tens of thousands of people go undiagnosed-or misdiagnosed with such conditions as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autism, MS and ALS. The Centers for Disease Control admits that more than 200,000 people may acquire Lyme disease each year, a number greater than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined. And yet, the medical establishment-with profound influence from the insurance industry-has stated that the disease is easily detectable and treatable, and that "chronic Lyme" is some other unrecognized syndrome or a completely psychosomatic disorder.
Learn more about the film at